Thoresby pit plight taken to Parliament

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The plight to save Thoresby Colliery has been taken to Parliament, when the issue was raised during a House of Commons debate.

The pit, which employs hundreds of miners, is currently on course for a ‘controlled closure’ next year, after owners UK Coal admitted it was in serious financial trouble.

UK Coal has since received a £4m loan from the Government to help with the closure, but during a Parliamentary debate on Thursday, shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex MP called for the Government to help UK Coal submit an application for EU state aid, to help stave off closure and continue the search for a buyer.

Energy minister Matthew Hancock MP replied by saying: “Of course I will consider that submission. We worked hard to secure a commercial loan to get us over the short-term cash-flow issues and to look at longer term options.”

Hundreds of workers have already been laid off at Thoresby, with the rest expected to go in autumn or winter next year.

UK Coal blamed the global price of coal on the demise of the deep pit, as well as Kellingley in South Yorkshire which is also earmarked for closure.

Léonie Mathers, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Sherwood, fears further delays are hindering the chances of the pit remaining open.

“These added delays mean more bad news for the miners up at Thoresby and their families, who know the chances of saving the pit are getting smaller with every day that passes,” she said.